Waymo’s driverless taxi fleet will soon be completely electric | Engadget
You won’t have to worry about burning fossil fuels if you hail a Waymo One ride in the near future. Waymo is phasing out its hybrid Chrysler Pacifica vans in the Phoenix East Valley area in favor of the Jaguar I-Pace EV, making its autonomous ride-hailing fleet completely electric as of late April. The company’s fifth-generation Driver AI is coming to the region at the same time.
The Alphabet-owned brand is unsurprisingly eager to tout the environmental perks. As Waymo’s cars are much more active than the typical personally-owned ride, the switch to EVs should have a noticeable impact on emissions. Waymo adds that it exclusively uses renewable energy to power the EVs.
There are also practical advantages, Waymo claims. The move to rely solely on the I-Pace helps “optimize” operational and technical support while the company prepares to add future EVs like Geely’s custom-built Zeekr. The consistency should also improve the trustworthiness of Driver as Waymo grows.
Waymo launched One in Phoenix in 2018, and went completely driverless in the area in 2019. Service didn’t start expanding in earnest until 2021, when the company started offering rides in San Francisco using the I-Pace. It began testing service in Los Angeles just last month. The switch to an all-EV fleet now provides a familiar experience regardless of where Waymo operates — Phoenix-area passengers won’t feel left behind.